'Unethical breeders' leave dogs to die. Ontario wants tougher laws | Globalnews.ca

Mike Mulick knows all too well Pet abandonment in Canada.

The City of Brampton's animal services manager says the number of animals coming into the shelter remains stable, but the number of people willing to adopt an animal is decreasing.

Yet, as he recently told Ontario legislators, unethical breeders are crossing a “threshold,” prompting supporters to call for toughening up the bill that just became law.

“We are crossing a threshold where unethical breeders are now increasingly abandoning new mothers and their cubs outdoors to die once they are no longer of value to them,” Mullick told MPs last month.

“So far this year, we have worked with the City of Brampton on two such cases. While my staff has rescued many abandoned puppies before it was too late, they have also had to recover deceased dogs that were posted in classified ads the other day.”

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This problem is not unique to Brampton

The committee where Mullick shared this story was meeting to discuss the government's Prevention of Unethical Puppy Sales (PUPS) Bill, which received Royal Assent on June 6.

Earlier this spring, the City of Brampton issued an alert saying someone was A “bad” situationBut Mullick recently told Global News that two cases he shared with the committee raised “particular concerns” because they were clearly attempts to evade responsibility.

“Breeders would come to us with puppies … and we would tie them to the front door of the shelter,” Mullick said.

“But in this case, it's clear they were deliberately ignoring the puppies and not letting them be found.”

Riggs, a 10-month-old mastiff, was recently brought in to Brampton Animal Services and made available for adoption as the city's animal services manager warned of unethical breeders who abandon dogs to die in remote areas.

Brampton Photos

Camille Labchuk, executive director of Animal Justice, a national animal legal advocacy group, said the problem in Brampton is not unique to the city.

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Labchuk said that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for pets surged, but factors such as inflation and resumption of work led to a decline in demand, and some breeders abandoned dogs outdoors or sent them to shelters.

Shelter They have been warning that they are under pressureand the problem isn't letting up. In fact, the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society has seen a 16 per cent increase in admissions this year compared to 2023, said Sonya Reichel, vice-president of shelter operations.

The fastest-growing area was the number of dogs and puppies coming in, which Reichel called “pretty shocking to be honest.”

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Canadian pet rescue groups overwhelmed by surge in pet abandonment

She said there were two reasons for this: pet owners could no longer afford their pets, or had unexpected litters, and breeders found themselves no longer able to control or manage their circumstances.

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“In many cases, they're in very dire condition. They need emergency medical care. They need dental care. They need 24-hour care to make sure they can recover or get to a state where they can be adopted by a new family,” Reichel said.

“It's really traumatic for the team. It's very expensive on our resources because they need urgent veterinary care, but it's just so heartbreaking when we fight so hard for them and they lose their lives.”

Labchuk said current Ontario law allows for charges to be laid for animals in distress if authorities discover a puppy mill or unethical breeder.

Labchuk added that tips from the public are one of the drivers of enforcement, but he said the likelihood of those tips happening is “extremely low.”

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Rescue a puppy abandoned in the cold

As a result, she added, one of the solutions her organization is seeking is to require Ontario breeders to be registered and licensed. However, PUPS has said nothing about this.

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“There is no licensing and registration, so there is no government oversight, and the government cannot even track who is breeding the dogs,” Labchack said.

“This has led to poor conditions, puppy mills and backyard breeding operations. It has also led to an influx of animals into the market with no one willing to buy them and has caused a crisis in the shelter and rescue system.”

The Puppy Breeding Bill sets minimum penalties for puppy farms

When Ontario introduced the Pets and Human Services Act last year, Ontario Attorney General Michael Kerzner said the bill would “ensure the safety” of dogs and other animals.

PUPS to amend provincial animal welfare services lawThe bill aims to discourage harmful canine breeding practices by prohibiting the breeding of female dogs less than one year old.

Under the new regulations, the provincial government will fine people who operate or assist puppy mills a minimum of $10,000, and $25,000 if those violations result in the death of a dog.

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Some Canadians abandon their pets due to financial pressures

At the committee attended by Mullick, Labchack spoke about the need for the permit and said members, including government representatives, were “very interested” in the idea.

“I commend the government for taking some steps, however small, but at this stage it is really important that the government considers what to do next,” she said.

“Fortunately, under the PAWS Act … the government has the power and authority to do this without having to pass any new legislation. They can do it through regulations, they can put in place a licensing system, they can put in place a standard of care that all dogs kept must adhere to. Those two tools will go a long way toward addressing this problem.”

Chelsea McGee, a spokeswoman for Kerzner, said in a statement that several Ontario municipalities currently have licensing systems for dog breeders and kennels, and the ministry continues to work with them on the issue.

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The PUP “will also allow the province to help develop regulations that set out the conditions that must be met when a dog is sold or transferred and establish record-keeping requirements,” she said.

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Parks Canada sees 'threefold increase' in number of pets abandoned in GTA parks

Mullick said that while the “first step” of PUPS has been taken, the system could be strengthened by making it mandatory for PUPS to socialize with other dogs.

“If they don’t get the opportunity to be socialized, they end up in shelters because the owners can’t control their behavior or they don’t interact well with other dogs,” he said.

Ultimately, Mullick said people who want a pet should consider adoption, but if they choose to buy from a breeder, do their homework and make sure the breeder is reputable.

“Regardless of what this legislation says, people who want to get a puppy need to make sure they get a well-socialised dog and are able to meet the dog's parents,” he said.

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“Whatever laws are in force, it should be the responsibility of people to ensure they are doing their due diligence when looking for breeders.”

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এছাড়াও পড়ুন  3 এপ্রিল, 2023 ট্রাম্পের অভিযোগের খবর